It begins with the ferocity of “Land Of Sunshine”, an iconic opening that captures the slapping bass and rough, almost writhing guitar that Faith No More become so incredibly popular for. It is the raw genius of making an album that abandons the rules and instead adopts to create something entirely fresh and new with each listen. From the little quirks that Patton shifts with his voice, the way that Mike Bordin on percussion is on top of everything and keeps the instruments on this platform that is level with Billy Gould on bass, Roddy Bottum on the keys, and Jim Martin on guitars. There is an allure behind Faith No More and how they can illustrate segues in these moments that really should not be successful, but fly off the board in a manner of glory. The first half of Angel Dust is a mostly heavy rock influenced jump of chart smacking cuts that rely on the highly replayable crunch of strings and bass solos that slide through the fret board in an almost grinding fashion that complements the rest of the band’s style.
But it is the moments like “RV” where Angel Dust suddenly hits a brick wall and becomes this carousel of horror that takes a trip to the desert where the guitars become an oasis of beauty surrounded among the ugliness. The way that the track has Patton explaining “I think it’s time I had a talk with my kids, I’ll just tell ‘em what my daddy told me, ‘You ain’t never gonna amount to nothing’”. It is an ugly depiction of what Patton calls “White Trash” in America and takes a strange, but welcome transition of sound with an even stranger story attached. It is then the cascading guitar drop that leads into “Everything’s Ruined”, a mostly subtle track that begins to fade in the riffs and leads which then segues into these choruses of simplistic gorgeousness where the keyboards can lead in the background and create these glorious moments of synths that seem to rise up and create the real depth behind the track. Faith No More has an incredible way of providing large amounts of sound into one simultaneous mix that conforms so well together and makes for an outstandingly produced record overall.
The final moments of Angel Dust take off the rough and grumbling sheath and instead show a calm side that is a fitting end to the madness that ensued. From “Midnight Cowboy (Theme From)” or “Easy”, Faith No More becomes a symbol of creative steps that was not afraid to stumble, fall, and eventually float to the top with their minds left in a twisted, mangled mess of excitement.